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Karyomorphology and karyotype asymmetry in the South American Caesalpinia species (Leguminosae and Caesalpinioideae)

Author(s): P.S. Rodrigues, M.M. Souza and R.X. Corrêa

With the purpose of addressing the pattern of karyotype evolution in Caesalpinia species, chromosome morphology was characterized in five species from Brazil, and karyotypic asymmetry was analyzed in 14 species from South America. All accessions had the chromosome number 2n = 24, which was first described here for Caesalpinia laxiflora Tul. and Cenostigma macrophyllum Tul. The karyotype formula of C. laxiflora, Caesalpinia pyramidalis Tul., and C. macrophyllum was 12 m. The formula varies amongst the populations of Caesalpinia bracteosa Tul. (11 m + 1 sm) and Caesalpinia echinata Lam. (10 m + 2 sm and 9 m + 3 sm). The intra- and interspecific variations in chromosome length were significant (analysis of variance, P < 0.05). Analyzing the asymmetry index (AI), revealed that Caesalpinia calycina Benth. had the most asymmetrical karyotype (AI = 10.52), whereas Caesalpinia paraguarienses (D. Parodi) Burkat. and Caesalpinia gilliesii (Hook.) Benth. had the most symmetrical karyotypes (AI = 0.91 and 1.10, respectively).